Why Saints coach Sean Payton put a 'Compete Street' sign at practice facility

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9), center, sets up a throwing game with New Orleans Saints quarterback Ryan Griffin (4), left, and quarterback Luke McCown (7) practices at the Saints Training Facility in Metairie, La. Thursday, May 28, 2015.

The brash and bold and cocky and arrogant aren’t welcome on North Compete Street. Walk a block to South Compete Street with that same attitude and someone will tell you to get your mind right. After all the talk and hype of last season, it might come as a surprise that it’s the New Orleans Saints policing these… Continue reading →

Ted Lewis: Too bad Saints' Junior Galette was no-show for interviews Thursday; he could've addressed January arrest

New Orleans Saints outside linebacker Junior Galette (93) enters the field during pre-game introductions before an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers in New Orleans, Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Junior Galette, a previous winner of the Jim Finks Good Guy Award from those who regularly cover the Saints, was a no-show in the locker room Thursday during the team’s first veterans’ media availability of the offseason. Which is too bad. It would have been the perfect opportunity for Galette to address his Jan. 5… Continue reading →

C.J. Spiller looks like 'real good fit,' shows flash, dash at Saints OTAs

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--New Orleans Saints running back C.J. Spiller (28) practices in Metairie, La. Thursday, May 28, 2015.

C.J. Spiller has kept an eye on the Saints for a long time. Few coaches know how to use a running back with pass-catching ability better than Sean Payton, and when Spiller had a chance, he’d sit down, watch New Orleans and marvel at the ways Payton found to get the ball to Reggie Bush, Darren Sproles… Continue reading →

Saints notebook: Patriots to visit Greenbrier

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton walks past New Orleans Saints free safety Jairus Byrd (31) at practice at the Saints Training Facility in Metairie, La. Thursday, May 28, 2015.

The New England Patriots will be making their way to the Greenbrier in West Virginia to spend three days practicing with the Saints before the Aug. 22 preseason game between the two teams, Saints coach Sean Payton confirmed on Thursday after a report by Pro Football Talk. New Orleans also contemplated scheduling joint practices with the… Continue reading →

After a bumpy rookie year, Stanley Jean-Baptiste is looking to make an impact in his second season with the Saints

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--New Orleans Saints cornerback Stanley Jean-Baptiste (23) practices in Metairie, La. Thursday, May 28, 2015.

Stanley Jean-Baptiste was unaware of the two reporters lurking by his locker. He got dressed, made a phone call, and worked his way through a conversation, never expecting an interview request. It wasn’t until a member of the New Orleans Saints public relations staff informed him that he finally looked up and happily obliged. Baptiste wasn’t… Continue reading →

Saints ditch plants to practice with Texans, will workout with Patriots at Greenbrier instead

. The New England Patriots will be making their way to the Greenbrier in West Virginia to spend three days practicing with the Saints before the Aug. 22 preseason game between the two teams, Sean Payton confirmed on Thursday after a report by Pro Football Talk. New Orleans also contemplated scheduling joint practices with the Houston Texans on… Continue reading →

Saints safety Rafael Bush is being careful during OTA's as he returns from a broken fibula last season

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--New Orleans Saints free safety Jairus Byrd (31) and New Orleans Saints free safety Rafael Bush (25) practice at the Saints Training Facility in Metairie, La. Thursday, May 28, 2015.

. For all intents and purposes, Rafael Bush is back to full strength. Bush took part in all of the Saints’ OTAs this week and looked like he was moving well in full-speed work during Thursday’s practice, which was open to the media. But the veteran safety is still playing it carefully as he returns from a broken fibula suffered against… Continue reading →

Photos: A diving Jairus Byrd, focused Drew Brees back on field as Saints crank up OTAs

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--New Orleans Saints free safety Jairus Byrd (31) practices at the Saints Training Facility in Metairie, La. Thursday, May 28, 2015.

The New Orleans Saints began their off-season organized team activities this weekend. On Thursday, their session was open to the media.… Continue reading →

Sean Hickey leads Saints UDFAs in total guaranteed money

Here is a look at the singing bonuses and total guaranteed money the Saints gave to the undrafted players signed immediately after the draft, according to sources: DL Tavaris Barnes: $7,500 signing bonus/$15,000 total guarantee WR R.J. Harris: $5,400 signing bonus OL Cyril Lemon: $6,000 signing bonus DL Kaleb Eulls: $10,000 signing bonus/$15,000 total guarantee DL Ashaad Mabry: $5,400 signing bonus LB Markus Pierce-Brewster: $6,000 signing… Continue reading →

Damian Swann could give the Saints some flexibility with his ability to play both cornerback and safety

Damian Swann catches a pass during a workout for scouts at NFL Pro Day at the University of Georgia Wednesday, March 18, 2015, in Athens, Ga. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

For the New Orleans Saints, the depth at cornerback is eventually going to become an issue. Granted, it’s a good problem, but it’s still a problem. Some talented players — perhaps ones who already are being penciled into the final 53 — are going to end up on the outside, hoping another team picks them… Continue reading →

Unfazed by his draft slide, P.J. Williams sets his sights on winning the Saints’ nickel cornerback role

Florida State defensive back P.J. Williams (26) defends at the line of scrimmage against Oklahoma State 's Jhajuan Seales (81) during an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez) ORG XMIT: OTKTG139

The book on P.J. Williams is that the New Orleans Saints may have gotten a steal. Scouts and analysts around the league pegged Williams as a high second-round pick — perhaps a late first-rounder in a draft deep with cornerbacks. By the time the 78th pick rolled around, Williams was supposed to be long gone. Disappointment sometimes sets… Continue reading →

Saints Mailbag: Who could break out this year?

The Saints being the third phase of their offseason program today, which is widely known as organized team activities. All the sessions are closed to the public and the media will not get a look at the proceedings until Thursday. So, for at least a few more days, we’re left to speculate over what’s happening with the team. And before… Continue reading →

Former Saints WR Joe Horn doesn’t like when rookies hug Roger Goodell: ‘The man they’re hugging will rip their throat apart’

** FILE ** New Orleans Saints wide receiver Joe Horn signals a first down after catching a pass from quarterback Aaron Brooks against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the second half in this Oct. 10, 2004 file photo,  in New Orleans. The New Orleans Saints released four-time Pro Bowl receiver Joe Horn on Thursday, saying Horn asked to be let go after the Saints asked him to take a pay cut. (AP Photo/Bill Haber)

The former New Orleans Saints wide receiver cringes a little bit when he watches new players walk to the stage and share a hug with commissioner Roger Goodell after being selected. “I don’t like that on draft day these kids don’t know that they’re hugging the devil,” Horn told TheFootballGirl.com. “I… Continue reading →

Max Unger, settling into his new life with the Saints, gets back on the field Tuesday as off-season training arrives

Seattle Seahawks center Max Unger (60) directs blocking against the Denver Broncos during the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII football game at MetLife Stadium Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014, in East Rutherford, N.J. The Seahawks won 43-8. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Two months into his time in New Orleans, Max Unger is starting to settle into his new surroundings. Unger, who initially told a Seattle radio station that he was bummed about being traded away from the Seahawks, has spent the past month or so going through workouts with his new teammates, playing golf with the rest of the… Continue reading →

Five storylines to watch as the 'new' New Orleans Saints open off-season training

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD --  New Orleans Saints free safety Jairus Byrd (31) tackles Minnesota Vikings running back Jerick McKinnon (31) during the fourth quarter Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

As the New Orleans Saints prepare to get back on the field this week, the topics of interest are almost overwhelming. This isn’t the same team it was in January. No one was safe over the past five months. Franchise icons and young players were traded. Dead weight was clipped. Competition was brought in to stretch the… Continue reading →

An early look at the Saints’ kicker battle between Dustin Hopkins and Zach Hocker

Buffalo Bills kicker Dustin Hopkins (5) and holder Shawn Powell (6) watch a field goal attempt during an NFL preseason football game against the Minnesota Vikings Friday, Aug. 16, 2013, in Orchard Park, N.Y.  (AP Photo/Bill Wippert)

It might not be the most exciting or chronicled battle of the offseason. It’s not the kind of thing that moves the needle in print or over the airwaves. But the battle between New Orleans Saints kickers Dustin Hopkins and Zach Hocker should be one of the more closely contested fights this offseason, and it carries significant importance.… Continue reading →

Zach Strief not bothered by Saints picking Andrus Peat; Strief, 'I understand how it works, and I also understand I'm not playing forever'

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Saints tackle Zach Strief blocks defensive end Cameron Jordan during training camp last summer at The Greenbriar in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va.

Zach Strief didn’t get a call on draft night. And he never expected one, not even after New Orleans surprised almost everybody by taking Andrus Peat with the 13th pick. A few members of Strief’s family, his father in particular, kept expecting the Saints to call their starting right tackle and offer some insight behind the… Continue reading →

Saints’ Davis Tull offseason checklist: Get healthy, get on the field and get to learning

Staff Photo by Doug Strickland/Chattanooga Times Free Press -- Chattanooga's Davis Tull

Davis Tull isn’t able to learn at the same rate as the rest of the Saints’ rookies. Not right now, at least. The Chattanooga product, who is being asked to make the transition from defensive end to outside linebacker in the New Orleans defense, is still rehabbing his shoulder after undergoing surgery to repair a torn labrum in… Continue reading →

Keep an eye on Saints' Delvin Breaux; Rob Ryan, Sean Payton, Keenan Lewis using words like 'tremendous,' 'star' to describe him

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER --Delvin Breaux, New Orleans Voodoo Friday, March 8, 2013.

It didn’t take Delvin Breaux long to attach himself to a veteran. Trying to make the jump from the Canadian Football League to contributor for the New Orleans Saints, Breaux immediately sought out Brandon Browner and began picking his brain. Browner knows the path Breaux is trying to walk. He helped draw it by jumping from… Continue reading →

Saints seek starter-caliber player at 'Star' position in Rob Ryan’s defense; rookies P.J. Williams or Damian Swann could be answer

Florida State defensive back P.J. Williams runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Monday, Feb. 23, 2015. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) ORG XMIT: INJC12

The days of getting by in the secondary with a serviceable third cornerback lining up in the slot ended a long time ago in the NFL. A team’s fifth defensive back is essentially a starter now, a key component to “nickel” defenses in an era when all but two or three teams throw the ball more than… Continue reading →

Last remaining unsigned player for Saints, Andrus Peat, agrees to rookie deal

Saints first-round pick Andrus Peat

The Saints have locked up all members of their rookie class. Andrus Peat, the last remaining unsigned player, agreed to terms with the Saints on Thursday afternoon, according to Yahoo Sports. Peat, an offensive tackle, was selected with the 13th overall pick. He worked primarily at right tackle during rookie minicamp and is expected to compete with Zach Strief and… Continue reading →

R.J. Harris is looking to become the latest undrafted free agent wide receiver to hook on in New Orleans

Advocate staff photo by RICHARD ALAN HANNON -- Southeastern Louisiana Lions linebacker Drew Misita (20) grab ahold of New Hampshire Wildcats wide receiver R.J. Harris (15) during the first half of the Division 1 Championship quarter final on Saturday, December 15, 2013, in Strawberry Stadium in Hammond.

It’s impossible to know what, exactly, running back Nico Steriti was thinking when he pulled back and let the ball fly. Throughout the season, wide receiver R.J. Harris was often quarterback Sean Goldrich’s security blanket. He leaned on him for a bail out whenever the University of New Hampshire offense neared bankruptcy. But what… Continue reading →

Former Saints safety Marcus Ball signs with Carolina Panthers

Marcus Ball, the CFL find who landed a spot with New Orleans last season, has found a new home. A week after the Saints released him, Ball has signed with the Carolina Panthers, the team announced Thursday morning. Ball, who made his mark in two seasons playing for the Toronto Argonauts, was signed by the Saints last year and played… Continue reading →

Saints release receiver Andy Tanner, sign offensive lineman Mike McGlynn

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Andy Tanner (14) makes a 15-yard touchdown reception against the Houston Texans during the second half of a preseason NFL football game on Sunday, Aug. 25, 2013, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Andy Tanner has been involved in so many roster moves during his time with the Saints, it’s hard to ever call it the end. If Wednesday’s release is the final one the wide receiver is involved with, his tenure in New Orleans will be most remembered for the number of times his name has come across the transaction wire. Dating back to… Continue reading →

Tyrone Hughes reflects on Saints career, the art of kick returning and desire to do more with former team

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--New Orleans natives Michael Lewis and Tyrone Hughes laugh after an announcement about them being inducted into the 2015 New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame at Superdome in New Orleans, La. Tuesday, May 19, 2015. Lewis was a former Budweiser beer truck driver and had the nickname "Beer Man" and played at many semi-pro leagues before earning a spot on the Saints, and is pointing to the Bud Light sign behind Hughes. Hughes, a 1993 fifth round pick by the Saints, owns the NFL record for most kickoff return yards in a single game when he returned two kickoffs for 304 yards and two touchdowns against the Los Angeles Rams in 1994.

Former St. Augustine star Tyrone Hughes is headed into the Saints Hall of Fame this year along with fellow return man Michael Lewis. With that honor in tow, Hughes had a chance to reflect on his career, both at the podium and in a later interview with the Advocate, on Tuesday. Here’s his thoughts, edited and… Continue reading →

No longer a basketball player, Harold Spears is trying to win a job at tight end with the Saints

One of the biggest issues facing rookies entering the NFL is the speed of the game. Players are bigger, faster, stronger. Offenses move at quicker paces. The playbooks are complex. But for undrafted rookie tight end Harold Spears, who is entering the NFL out of the University of New Hampshire, he’ll never have to worry about… Continue reading →

Saints quarterback Drew Brees, wife Brittany to become co-owners of Walk-On’s Enterprises, unsure about letting “cat out of the bag” yet about other restaurants

Advocate staff photo by A.J. SISCO  --  Rick Farrell, Drew Brees and Brandon Landry pose for a photo at the Walk-On's Bistreaux and Bar in New Orleans. The New Orleans Saints quarterback and his wife have come aboard as co-owners of Walk-On's, a move that will help the popular sports bar chain grow locally and nationally.

Walk-On’s Bistreaux and Bar has brought in a Super Bowl MVP as part of an effort to expand the chain of sports bars locally and nationally. New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees and his wife, Brittany, reached a deal Monday to become co-owners of Walk-On’s Enterprises, the Baton Rouge company that created and operates four popular… Continue reading →

N.O. natives and kick return specialists Michael Lewis, Tyrone Hughes to enter Saints Hall together

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--New Orleans natives Michael Lewis and Tyrone Hughes laugh after an announcement about them being inducted into the 2015 New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame at Superdome in New Orleans, La. Tuesday, May 19, 2015. Lewis was a former Budweiser beer truck driver and had the nickname "Beer Man" and played at many semi-pro leagues before earning a spot on the Saints, and is pointing to the Bud Light sign behind Hughes. Hughes, a 1993 fifth round pick by the Saints, owns the NFL record for most kickoff return yards in a single game when he returned two kickoffs for 304 yards and two touchdowns against the Los Angeles Rams in 1994.

Michael Lewis and Tyrone Hughes were always meant to go into the Saints Hall of Fame together. Both men played in exactly 63 games for the Saints, making their marks as electrifying return specialists who turned in one All-Pro season apiece and posted nearly identical statistics in their time in New Orleans. Both players are New Orleans… Continue reading →

New Orleans Saints release Shayne Graham, create 2-way kicker battle

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- New Orleans Saints kicker Shayne Graham (3) and New Orleans Saints quarterback Luke McCown (7) react after Graham missed a field goal during the second quarter Sunday, Dec. 7, 2014, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Carolina won 41-10.

The Saints announced Tuesday that they have released kicker Shayne Graham, leaving the team with Zach Hocker and Dustin Hopkins at the position. Continue reading →

Back up those NFL extra points: The line of scrimmage for PATs is now the 15-yard line

Associated Press file photo -- Chiefs kicker Cairo Santos knocks through an extra point against the Buffalo Bills during a game last season. Santos and other kickers will attempt longer PATs this season, now that NFL teams voted to move the line of scrimmage to the 15. Defenses will now be allowed to score on 2-point conversion turnovers.

SAN FRANCISCO — The NFL is moving back extra-point kicks and allowing defenses to score on conversion turnovers. The owners on Tuesday approved the competition committee’s proposal to snap the ball from the 15-yard line on PATs to make them more challenging. In recent seasons, kickers made more than 99 percent of the kicks with… Continue reading →

New Orleans invited to bid on the 2019, 2020 Super Bowls by NFL, so who's the competition this time?

Rendering provided by the New Orleans Saints -- An artist rendering of renovations to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Thwarted in bidding for Super Bowl LII in 2018 a year ago, New Orleans is being invited to bid on the 2019 and 2020 games. Atlanta, Miami and Tampa Bay also are receiving invitations from the NFL’s Super Bowl selection committee at Wednesday’s final session of the annual league meetings in San Francisco, Saints President Dennis Lauscha said Tuesday. The games will… Continue reading →

Even after the Saints traded Ben Grubbs and drafted Andrus Peat, the offensive line’s returnees don’t expect major revamping

Advocate staff photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ-- New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) passes as New Orleans Saints tackle Terron Armstead (72) and New Orleans Saints tackle Zach Strief (64) try to hold off the defensive line of San Francisco 49ers at a NFL game in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, La. Sunday, Nov. 9, 2014.

When the New Orleans Saints selected Stanford tackle Andrus Peat with the 13th pick in the draft, the choice prompted more questions than answers. With Peat in the fold, would Zach Strief or Terron Armstead kick inside to fill the spot at guard left by traded veteran Ben Grubbs? What did Peat’s selection mean… Continue reading →